The Rise of Subscription Commerce & How You Can Start Your Subscription Business


Subscription businesses have been a hot trend in the entrepreneurial marketplace for a while thanks to their low launch costs, high scalability, and high customizability: Any demand, lifestyle or cross-product theme you can imagine is ready to be a subscription business that can start as small as you want and grow as fast and as big as you can plan for. By planning carefully and executing an attractive product, anyone can leverage those recurring payments to build relationships with subscribers around the globe that will grow and profit, often from the first shipment.

It’s easy to see why ongoing developments in tech — specifically the areas surrounding connectivity, logistics and payments — have brought subscription services back to the marketplace: Automatic payment has infiltrated every industry, thanks to the convenience and dependability on both sides of the equation.

Subscription box trend

But starting in 2014, we’ve seen interest skyrocket thanks to apps and tech firms filling the need for specialized software around the business model: The virtuous flywheel that drives the adoption of any new technology or model. Extensive online tools, apps and subscription industry platforms have made it possible for individuals and teams to build, market and monitor storefronts, customer relationships, shipping logistics, and global financial transactions.

That’s putting the power of entrepreneurship in the hands of people who can use it best: The smartest, most dangerous and disruptive, forward-thinking members of the e-commerce community, whose fearlessness and experiences on what’s still a fairly unexplored frontier will set best practices for decades to come, as the model continues to grow.

As the first and only All-in-One subscription platform, Cratejoy gives you everything you need to start, maintain or grow your subscription business: Everything is in one place, you design your storefront onsite, decide on your product options from our extensive and flexible menu, and make all your sales decisions — all backed with the wealth of our experience and that of our thousands of merchants, who have been right where you are now and know exactly what to do next.

Decide on your subscription’s frequency, re-bill dates, variations, add-ons, billing requirements and so on. Every step is supported on our platform, and explained and explored through our extensive Subscription School site, a free library of resource documents and fun videos explaining everything you need to know about any aspect of the business, from beginner technical questions to the more advanced and complex systems you may decide upon as you grow.

By focusing on specific interests and the things that excite you the most, or open holes in the market waiting to be filled, you can build an unparalleled passion and enthusiasm in any demographic you want: Fandom of the Month is for women who are geeks, and love getting jewelry and treats from their favorite geeky brands. The Book (ish) Box supplies fans with literary treats and art, as well as an exclusive, high-quality t-shirt every month. BattlBox is another runaway success story, offering premium survival and tactical gear every month that’s created a rabid online community of fans.

In each case, the market seems obvious after the fact, because all it took was one merchant with the smarts to prove the point, and the passion to make it happen.

While the initial outlay and time management are negligible for starting a subscription business, the rapid growth that’s possible can come with its own challenges: Finding a place to store your stock once the orders outgrow your work space is the most common complaint. But any of us would count ourselves lucky if the problem with our side hustle became too much demand.

In the meantime, here’s the best way to get started: